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Suck on Linux Evolution 359

Jonny Royale writes "Today's Suck has an interesting perspective on the Red Hat IPO, and the future of Linux in general. Warning in advance: It's not pretty. " Ouch-I think there's a lot of honesty in this article, particularly the attention to human nature. What do you folks think?
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Suck on Linux

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  • "You're obviously not a coder and haven't followed linux much if you think that the community hasn't been filled with "serious competition" since its conception. The "serious competition" is one of the things that draws a lot of us to it. It's made a huge difference too, Linux is far better because of competition."

    Really? If you consider HURD vs. Linux, or WM vs. Afterstep or TWIN vs. WINE competition, then perhaps there has always been serious competition in the Linux domain. But I am a coder, and I have followed Linux software development for a long time. What I saw in those projects was peaceful coexistence and even cooperation between differing products. Sure WM is a lot like AfterStep, but then again, it is a lot unlike AfterStep as well. One doesn't exist just to outdo the other. WINE and TWIN? Same thing. In fact, there has been a lot of cross-communication between those projects recently.

    Contrast this to the GNOME/KDE wars. Do these developers communicate with each other as effectively? Why are there two disparate object models being developed? Why is there very little cooperation on the CORBA front? Why must every GNOME-positive article on /. have a KDE-positive counterpart posted immediately thereafter? (or vice versa)

    How about the drafting of the GNOME WM compliance specification? As I recall there was/is a lot of dissention regarding how closely the spec was tied to E. Several WM authors decided not even to implement the spec because of this. Is this cooperation?

    Perhaps we should create a distinction: community competition vs. corporate competition. Community competition leads to better products and common ideals. Corporate competition leads to lawsuits and fragmentation. And the Linux community seems to be moving from the former to the latter, IMO.

    If you need one more piece of anecdotal evidence, reconsider for a moment the scuffle between LinuxCare and RedHat over a certain advertisement. This type of thing can't help but spill over into the code at some point.
  • by Kaa ( 21510 ) on Friday August 20, 1999 @10:30AM (#1734947) Homepage
    The Suck article should be required reading for Linux zealots. Not because it is completely right, correct, and reflects the absolute truth, but because it is focused, edgy, nasty, and says the dirty words without flinching. The guys at Suck have a point and they make it very well indeed. You may disagree with the article or parts of it (at least I do), but the issue is not going to go away. That's the same issue that has been repeatedly surfacing at Slashdot and subject of much discussion by a lot of very smart people -- Linux and the big bad commercial world out there.

    I'm not going to try to recap these discussions, but I think it's worth pointing out some quite trivial facts:

    RHAT is a public corporation. Its management has legal duty to maximize shareholder value by whatever legal means necessary. Historically, courts have given a lot of leeway to company management in deciding how to go about it, but on the other hand, management has been sued, sometimes successfully, for doing (or not doing) something useful for shareholders. Think about it: if they believe, e.g. that writing and selling proprietary extensions to Linux, will make the company more profitable, then the RedHat management has a duty to do this. I really would not be surprised to see an effective fork of Linux (on the same kernel base) into a "corporate" Linux, sold, say, by RedHat and Corel, and a "pure" Linux, distributed by e.g. Debian. It's not a good thing to happen, but welcome to the real world.

    So, yes, the transition from the academic/hobbyist/sysadmin world into the rat-eats-dog-eats-rat corporate world is dangerous and will probably affect Linux in some way and the Suck article pointed it out with a very-well-sharpened finger.

  • Where can I buy it with my filthy lucre ...

    Sheesh, and Wired is just so much better than us at avoiding profit.

  • dude-

    back away from the 3rd person references to yourself...

    who are you? Dennis Rodman? Mike Tyson?

  • First of all the issue with servers has already been pointed out. Linux will continue to grow there, and a GUI is irrelevent for servers.

    Second, the KDE is in many ways a easier to use interface than Windows. The use of single click as a default (and currently only option, though KDE 2.0 will support double clicking as well) is one of the reasons. People who have been using Windows and MacOS for years hate it. Those of us, like myself, who think of mouse clicks logically in terms of speed and having enough states like it. New users will love it. I've watched quite a number of new users, primarily older people who never used a computer before, click on an icon and get very frustrated when nothing happens, so they click it over and over again until five copies of the app start up, which also frustrated them. Back when I was younger this led me to unconsciously tripple click, which made my friends laugh at me.

    None the less, Linux with KDE is a viable alternative to Windows for the avarage joe on the desktop.
  • Nitpicking their layout isn't really a convincing argument as to what, if anything, was wrong with the article.
  • Linux may not be the desktop choice of the future, and if it is, it'll be different from the Linux server of the future. There are other choices for a desktop system that are (or will be) better than Microsoft (BeOS). And either way, competition is good, maybe it'll force MS to make a better OS (about the same time penguins are ice skating in Hell).

  • Man, oh man. This article highlights something which I've always disliked about the GNU/Stallman way of thinking. It seems to claim that greed is a bad thing and a negative thing. That anywhere money goes, evil must follow. I wholeheartedly disagree with this assessment of the situation. Greed means competition, and competition means advancement. One of the major things that will a selling point to a lot of people here at slashdot and you crazy GNU communists will be whether or not a particular distrobution is 100% open source. As a result, the 'greedy' competitors in the linux market will be sure to release their changes as open source... Sacrificing their hard fought code to the community so the community will buy their product. Believe it or not, market forces are a Good Thing. Greed is a good thing. Communism is a Bad Thing.

    By this, I don't mean you shouldn't assist the community, I mean people should stop whining and moaning whenever someone does something *other* than that. Caldera wants to release a closed-source GUI install doowhang? Fine, sounds like a good idea to me. I won't complain. But, all Red Hat or SuSE would need to do to beat them would be to release the same utility as an Open Source doowhang. And this applies to everything. Their greed will force them to do what we, the consumers, want.

    Bah. Linux isn't gonna blow up or be 'pushed to ship' until Linus or Alan decide that they want to be owned by one of the major competitors. Lets not forget that Linux develops at the speed and in the direction that the community wishes it to, not the major companies. The best they can hope for is to contribute code and thus become liked by the core developers.

  • OK, well this is a situation that happens with all organizations. Nothing can break up a group like success. The smallest, most insignificant organizations will have vicious politics when they have to start deciding what to do with some money.

    But, Linux is still free. It has been built on good foundations, and programmers at companies are being paid money to work on it. So maybe Linux will become more of a consortium of corporations and a few stellar individuals. At the very least it raises the standards of what an operating system can be. So what if it is Adaptec that starts writing device drivers instead of Pete in Vancouver? The point is that the good stuff gets absorbed and the bad stuff gets criticized and improved on. It's the product that is important, not the motivations.
  • The office I work in has only one Paperclip-enhanced copy of MS Office (it's 2000 and I had to re-FDISK the Harddrive after it's first "install") and the Top Dog of this company just LOVES the paperclip. Especially since it is "all nifty and 3d-like". Oh jeeze.
  • No matter how great you feel in your jihad of choice, you have now to face the fact that the plunders are being divided, your work is being taged with a cash $ sticker and your bible of turth is now for sale on a shelf along side the DemonWin and others.

    I noticed this transition over a year or two back when folks seemed to be driftin from teh fun of playing with the system of Linudx and began the push towards making it User Freindly. Not that user freindly is a bad idea, but Linux is, at its best, a fast driving hard truning race track to test the skills and hone the ability of it users.

    When they started putting padding on the curves, all that changed.

    One can say Linux lost its virgin zeal the minute it stepped away from the practicalites of CLIdom and workability and spent large chunks of its time arguing over how an Icon should look on a screen.

    "how does it feel to be a rolling stone no direction ~"

    So now Linux is a Money Making venture with large chunks of cash at stake. You think the realses of tomorrow wont be thiniking about the demands of the Buying Public versus the Bleeding Edge Techers. Who do you think BUYS a linux install anyway, some one who knows how to do a net install over thier dsl??? Nope, its the same folks who BUY software and expect it to work out of the box( yes it has a box) with MINIMAL hassle. The words Kernerl and Complie are going to fade from the fore to be replaced by, CUSTOMER and Support. Chaching. Next customer please.

    Linux is about the
    To every cloud there is a silver linning, in this one the silver is redemable for houses, cars, food, and new hi fi systems to listen to your MMW bootlegs.

    Dont deny the dark side..........Your soaking in it

  • I won't agree that an operating system sucks simply because it's corporate. An operating sucks if it makes accomplishing a task more tedious than it would be in another operating system.

    I think M$ makes a great OS for gaming, with all that DirectX stuff...

    I think Linux is a great OS for development (in all areas) and networking

    I think the Mac is a great OS for making graphics, laying out pages, and providing a simplified work environment.

    Pick your tools according to how well they accomplish the job, not for any other reason (hatred of a company, etc...)
  • Since when is commercialization a problem? Lots of Linux coders take money for their work. The issue isn't whether we sell our code or labor, the issue is whether we use a free license. Any commercial entity that tries to drop the free license is asking for trouble, they will see their market evaporate almost overnight since they now push a proprietary Unix instead of something open and therefore standard. They also risk being sued back to the stone age.

    The one thing about the GPL that even non-opensource-zealots really appreciate is that it it holds the vendors feet to the fire with respect to keeping Unix open and standard. As long as its open and standard the customers will line up for miles. All of the long run incentive pushes the commercial vendors this way. Those that don't have this perspective will be trod under the feet of vendors that "get it".
  • Okay I know this may sting a bit. But, alot of what is said in that article is also true. I still don't think that hundreds or even tens of people have changed their motives for developing for Linux just because of an IPO.

    The author seems to think that this is corrupting when it was meant to be supporting and a sign of goodfaith.

    After all RedHat does 100% own it's very existence to the OSS community. And RedHat knows it, so they did the right thing. Even if it wasn't the original motive for the programming and RedHat wasn't under official obilgation to do so.

    So will Linux be market/money driven? Well, no I don't think so... Look at the big players that are involved in Linux up to their neck like IBM. Who would have thunk it 2 years ago. Everyday, I see on LinuxToday 4 or 5 companies pledging support for Linux. And Linux in my opinion hasn't lost it's soul.

    If anything it is changing the way others think about software. Not the other way around. Did you ever think that all the many hardware vendors today would even ever think about open sourcing their drivers?

    Linux has been the underdog all along. And once again I think that people are under estimating it. Linux will survive commercializm. And come out stronger because of it. The Linux community will see to that by their every choice of what software they run.

    Just my 2 cents.
  • I really like that last line. When people read negative words like in Suck's article, they get the idea, "well what's the use?" and they give up. We need more people that /do/ have faith in their fellow man.
  • Most people don't want to take the time to learn when they can just use windows instead.

    I agree with your point, but if you think people don't have to learn Windows, you're sorely mistaken. While it seems ridiculously simple to the Linux ubergeeks (myself included), to people who've never used a computer before, Windows is daunting. ("I have to click Start to finish?" etc.)

  • by Scola ( 4708 )
    The HURD was in development before linux. The HURD never went anywhere. The HURD is a remnant from the days in the early part of this decade when the prevailing view was you couldn't do anything useful without using a microkernel design, it was the holy grail. Many OSes (the HURD, NeXTstep, NT, BeOS) came from this era. Linux disproved this general theory by creating a stable, fast, portable OS with a monolithic kernel. The HURD is and probably always will be the OS that wasn't. It still hasn't met the goals set for it in the early part of this decade, let alone implementing modern features linux is coming to terms with today (SMP, Journaling file systems, ect.). The HURD may be the politically correct OS in your mind, but it is rather uninteresting when compared to linux, BeOS, QNX, ect. and is nowhere near the level of development that linux and the BSDs are at. I'd be suprised if it reaches the level linux is at today in the next 5-10 years.
  • You know, Red Hat gives away its distribution. I know, I recently downloaded Red Hat 6.0 to install on my SPARCstation. (Thank the gods for DSL!) Red Hat sells a service, not code. If I didn't have a high speed Internet connection, I just might have bought it from them to get a nice CD. To say Red Hat makes money selling other people's code is ridiculous. They make money selling a service, and unless you went down and helped them perform their service, why would you deserve a cut? They sell a service that there's enough demand for that they make money at it. Good for them! But they don't sell code. That they give away for free.


  • I used to read Suck, but forgot about them for some reason. For that reason I'm glad they got some "air" time on Slashdot, now I have them bookmarked again (I'm sure I could remember the URL, but I might forget their existence otherwise.)

    I don't think they quite understand where Linux is coming from though (or maybe they just left it out for the sake of humor.) I've watched the development of Linux for ~6 years now and one thing that stands out about it (and other similar open source projects) is that it's growth is organic. It's development has about as much to do with money as a tree's.

    Redhat may come and go. Maybe Debian will fall too. Who knows? The development of Linux will continue despite what happens to the people and organizations involved now. Maybe it will evolve into something else if necessary.

    It's more about mother nature than human nature, and you can't stop mother nature that easily.


  • That is the one thing that I don't understand. I get the newest version of Red Hat everytime there is a new distribution. But I've always paid about $7.00 ($2.95+S&H) from Linux Central. True not everyone knows about Linux Central and the Installation book is a little more (yeah like I ever bought that). And there is no 30-day support with the GPL'd version of RH6 - gee maybe that is why they sell it for $70 bucks. If anything this IPO helps Red Hat continue to add more support to their distribution by allowing them to expand they can add more people for support. And spend more on R&D on their distribution (which there is source for). This isn't going to stop the community spirit unless the community decides that people making money for selling support is bad. Which I don't understand - first the community wants Big Business to start looking at OSS, which BB doesn't want to do because there is no support, now companies start offering support through an OSS distribution, then BB started taking Linux seriously. So now these distribution companies need to expand their support models to handle BB so they go public and everyone in the community is screaming foul! They going to steal Linux! Why didn't the community express this when IBM started offering Linux support - their a for profit public company and they are (in the way of support and they are bigger to handle BB support) competitors to RH. People thought they were going to hijack Apache and not give to the community but they didn't and they have helped to give back to the community. Let's open up are minds a bit and remember that every distributor has given back to the community and helped keep Linux GPL'd and open sourced. This is their payback to become a public company like IBM and still help the community. It's in their best interests to do so. And the more companies go Public the stronger the community becomes and these companies become to take M$ down. Don't freak out. Be a community and support all these companies going public.
  • I do not feel the open source community is in danger of falling completely to the evils of money (yes, obviously some will)... but as long as the code remains open, hackers are going to continue to tinker.

    Good point. Let's take the idea further... can we GAIN from this exposure to Coporate culture?

    Is it possible that Joe Corporate Coder, firmly entreched in the Evils of Money, can be converted? Perhapse their company wants them to take a look at Linux. Perhapse they look at it themselves to see what the fuss is. What they find is an environment enamoured with tinkering. It reminds them of the fun they had when they first started coding... why they made it a profession. They begin to tinker and hack... not because of some marketing drive but because they once again can enjoy coding. They're converted. And Open Source is richer for their contributions.

    I'm not saying that the corporate culture is in danger of falling completely for the promise of Open Source (yes, obviously many will not)... but as long as the code remains open, some of those coders will want to tinker. Linux will continue to evolve.

  • They usually know what they're talking about.

    I'm optimistic that Open Source and the GPL will hold out against the worst aspects of greed, though.


  • Does it look like the author has been reading every link /. publishes and bookmarking it in case it makes a good story?

    The problem I've seen with the "Linux is dead movement" is that they seem to forget that sure the stockholders want something, some return, some new thing, but that's Red Hat's problem, not the Community's problem.

    Now, I'm not suggesting fragmentation. I'm suggesting what simply seems to be how it's always worked pre- and post-RHAT era. When the Linux users need something, they post to the cola, wait for a response, get none, and do it themselves. None of this stockholder BS. It's how the projects get started.

    What I'm really trying to point out is that as some of you are now shareholders, your work helps you earn money (that's what the Letter was about, not selling your soul), for those shareholders who aren't coders, users or even "geeks" if Red Hat doesn't perform, well tough! We do it our way. There is no board of directors, no COO, no managers to look over our shoulders and provide projects. There is only a lack of a service we want that provides us with the latest project.

    To the investors that aren't Community, you should have read the fine print of the deal. To the investors in the Community, you earn when you produce. To the rest of the Community, it's still about love of Linux.

    The naysayers predict doom and gloom, but we know we're different. A person doesn't win a race by watching who's nipping at his heels. Likewise, world domination won't happen if we let ourselves be overcome with FUD from the money men.

  • I use Linux/Windows regularly, but if you were to ask me if Linux or Windows is easier to install (from scratch -- I've done them both many, many, many, times), I'd probably have to say Windows. I can't say I'm in love with X windows, so if I'm in Linux I'm usually in console. I boot into Windows to read Slashdot (it's horrible browsing Slashdot via lynx) and do some web browsing. With all this flamethrowing going on with X, I can't really say whether or not a replacement is what we need... But, I do have to say I _HATE_ the extra virtual terminal that X uses and doesn't close when you exit. Anyone know how to fix that or get rid of it?
  • In a way, the Linux/GNU community is one of the only Communisms to ever exist.

    Unlike the "communist" governments in recent history (and the present) Linux has no priveladged party. True you could consider the big Linux kernel hackers (Linus, Alan, etc.) to be a priveladged group, but the means of communication to them is in no way limited. Just join the kernel mailing list and contribute.

    There is no need for anything outside of the community. Many communist governments failed, in part, due to the innability to rely on the community alone for success. Whether it was military ties, food, oil, communist nations still needed to rely on the outside world for parts. The Linux community, on the other hand, has always been able to provide for itself anything it desired. If a piece of hardware was need, or simply wanted, someone wrote a driver. There was no need to rely outside the community. There may be instances where outside source was used, but that was most likely out of convenience then necessity.

    The major thing that seperates the Linux/GNU community as a true example for communism is that citizenship is voluntary. Sure people can emigrate the community and develop commercial applications, but that in no way means that the community is tied down to only that application. They can always develop from within the community. And true, you may be short one hacker but others will join.
  • A very easy to use interface will allow very stupid people (VSP) to use it. If VSP can't use it, then they won't.

    If VSP use the interface, then the average level of intelligence of the end-users decreases. This is part of the reason that VSP don't use Linux today: it doesn't have a very easy to use interface.
  • So what you're saying is that Linux systems are advancing and improving at a very fast pace, but still manage to maintain backwards compatability (due to the fact you can have multiple versions of things like libc on a system).

    Oh no, anything but that!
  • This is quite true. I have been using Win2K for a while now at work, and it has never crashed. No tonce in the entire month I've been using it for. That's not to say that it doesn't have some problems, but they are not stability problems.

    I'm not doing anything high-powered though, and I don't know how much went into setting up this box (I was given it when I began as an intern here).
  • ...but you're still wrong.

    You're wrong because you equate the expectation that a company will deliver on a promise with a sense of entitlement. The developers who recieved the letter didn't demand a piece of the action, but RedHat offered it anyway. That was a nice gesture, and it increases my respect for that company, but once they made the promise those developers were right to expect RedHat to deliver. I get the impression that after all was said and done RedHat did deliver, but that is another story.

    You're wrong because you believe, as the author of the article does, that businesses have the power to control the development of free software. Companies and IPO's have existed before software did. They didn't control free software decades ago and they don't control it today. Some of them contribute to it, but that doesn't stop anyone from developing or using any free software in any way.

    You're wrong becuase you assume that money and free software cannot coexist. There is nothing wrong with programmers being payed for their work. There is something wrong with reducing the utility of that work in order to pay them. Free software is not about giving software away, although there is nothing wrong with that either. Free software is about giving people the power to software in the way that works best for them, rather than accepting the canned decisions of some corporation.

  • Ok, bad example. Once ANOTHER Linux power/distro has an IPO and there are multiple groups of shareholders going after the same customer base...

  • He didn't specifically mean the 'paper-clip', nobody likes the paper clip.

    He meant that StarOffice doesn't have all the useless features, bells, and whistles that Jim down in Accounting likes in an office package.

    I wouldn't call this the 'fatal flaw' by any stretch.

  • There's nothing to be correct about now, Linux is still free for the download, people are still developing it for free.

    See what Linux looks like in a year, see who's right, RMS or suck.

    They did get a little nasty, I'll agree, but it's probably sour grapes at their worthless WiReD options.

  • Well, I haven't read it yet, but if it says something bad about Linux, it must be bad, right?

    The only way that Linux is going to gain marketshare and respectability is if there's only good news put forth about it. Whomever published the article therefore must not like Linux and hence is on the Microsoft payroll in some way shape or form.

    What we need these days is more objective news covering the linux phenomenon. If it degrades linux, obviously they don't see the full picture, and therefore is not objective and they're being paid-off by Bill Gates.

    This is slashdot.

    Now I'm gonna go read it! :)
  • Before you go around throwing out statements like that. I'd like to know of an actual real-world stituation that happened like this? If so then, it's the clients fault for not knowing how to work their computer. And if they need help they should purchase a support contract.

    If the commercial app is broken than that is again the fault of the client to choose to go with a closed source app.

    And since when did Linux give a crap about a commercial product enough to not allow progess with libraries or anything?
  • I think that Capitalism is the best form of governmet that we have to offer yet. (Compare it to Socialism and Communism) But money runs Capitalism. If people can see the beyond money and into what money brings. As in 1984 "Not money, power, raw unadultered power". If we can get past Capitalism and into more of a Libertarian form of government money would not be a problem. There would be equal freedom for everyone, freedom for all! This is NOT Communism!!! With the leftist form of government power is given unto a few who rule with absolute power over the many. Let Freedom Ring!
  • Alright, I read it, and yes it was a bit painful. However I am not easily disillusioned. I was always told that writing is infinately more interesting when it contains quotations, which seems contradictory to me because in most cases the quotes that reach my ear merely have a ring, and not a meaning. But to break my own rule, and quote Michael Douglas as the infamous Mr Gecko in 'Wallstreet': "Greed is good." But more seriously, the injection of money is fine. I am a firm believer that the truest path towards any goal lies in maintaining a sense of moderation in all things involved. Noble causes are fine, and self indulging egocentristic greed is fine as well, when taken in proper balance. The Open Source community did not get caught with its pants down, and the innoncence and purity of the movement was not lost in one fleeting moment. What must be remembered is that we now find ourselves poised on a slippery slope, and maintaining this precarious equilibrium is an absolute must. We find ourselves suddenly in the adolescence of Open Source at large, there is money to be made and that is great, its the surest sign that we have beaten the odds as a community. That's the key here: Community. Red Hat succeeded because many, many hobbyist and student programmers, as well as seasoned 'hardcore' developers slaved away for a very long time, and now there are benifits to be had. Money is not suddenly the chief concern of the Linux developers, and there is no sudden rush to push product out the door. The license under which all the code currently exists did not vanish, and the spirit of altruism still remains. Still free to download, modify, and hack; but if your good enough at it, you may get a bit of livelihood as a bonus.
  • Nuff said. The argument doesn't hold.

    There is nothing to see here. Everyone move along. :)
  • Funny how that works, isn't it? :) I was fully expecting to be moderated down, but instead I went up!?! Go figure!

    Anyways, that's how I feel about slashdot nowadays.... if it's about computers and somehow doesn't benefit Linux, it must be anti-Linux... anti-linus, for that matter... I'm all for free/open-source software when it does the job i want it to, but when it doesn't, I'd rather shell out the $$$ rather than try to make due with a 0.1 version that i can look at the source of...
  • Really. I was kind of shocked to see it there - all us techies killed it, but it was happily sitting on her desktop.

    Oh well.

  • Yep! Funny how that works... you should try it yourself sometime
  • RedHat isn't worth so much because of
    their operating system. Everyone can
    distribute Linux.

    RedHat opened a large market for Linux.
    They made it popular.

    And making things popular is what is
    worth money-- not writing good software.
  • It was there most subsantive point. How the money will actually keep the uber-geek programmers that have worked off of the feeling of satisfaction and publicized prowess from continuing there work.

    But then, haven't we always been pushing for the day when companies would write there own drivers? Look at what is going on in the graphics card market. All rushing to show that not only are they fastest on Linux, but that they are open source friendly (of which Matrox seems to be winning.)

    It is going from sexy to where it should be and always really was. The nerd who just wants to use a particular piece of hardware on his system, and the proud hardware developers that want to see it run well. Maybe even the college kid who wants real world programming experience on what he is learning.

    Money is doing exactly what I hoped it would. Adding to the development effort, giving more reasons for more people to contribute. Nothing has happened to scar anyone off, except maybe the level of entry as the kernel and software in general becomes more complex. And that is a good thing.
    ^~~^~^^~~^~^~^~^^~^^~^~^~~^^^~^^~~^~~~^~~^ ~
  • Comics and Cartoons are as valid a communications medium as any other. Anyone dismissing them strictly as kids media is culturally illiterate as far as I'm concerned. The fact that the vast majority of comics suck is merely Sturgeons Law (90% of everything is crap) in action. For every Citizen Kane, there are 100 Runaway Brides. Are we to conclude that Film is a lousy medium because of this? Of course not. Go read Understanding Comics, by Scott McCloud, it will lead you into a larger world.

    As for Suck... User Frindly is so painfully weak it's embarassing. After Y2K has funny stories, but the art quality is pretty lackluster. Suck, on the other hand has Terry Colon, the finest cartoonist on the web today, bar none! There have been many attemps to meld the sequential art traditions of the printed comics with a computer based delivery, and Suck has taken a damn good crack at it, so give them their due. The writers, while relentlessly snide, are overall a pretty bright group, even if they do run into the occasional blind alley.

    My $.02

  • "Fixing an obscure bug in the driver code for a network card may be useful, but it's not sexy, and it's certainly not going to get the author noticed the next time someone's handing out prepublic stock."

    People don't fix obscure bugs in network drivers for those reasons. They fix them because they want their network driver to work.
  • Maybe opensource companies can put some money towards a open source hardware project. I am sure that VA Linux (or Systems or whatever their offical name is) would love to have some new powerful hardware. Hardware has basically stood still since the XT. Sure we have fast and faster graphics, better sound, bigger harddrives, but the backbone is the same as every except for faster. Maybe an open source hardware project could do for that field what it has done for software. the x86 architecture is dated, we need to update it.
  • It's my understanding that NT can't boot from a floppy, period. Which, I suppose, takes the hassle out of making a boot disk

    Totally off-topic, of course, but yes, NT can boot from a boot disk. It does so when you install, and you'd have to boot from a disk to rescue it from a failed mirrored boot drive.

    Of course, you'd have to boot from a boot disk to recover from a failed non-mirrored boot drive, but that'd be to reinstall... [snicker]
  • Could someone please tell me by e-mail or replys to my post who exactly this group represents? This is probably from the same people who composed "Satan Trek" (tm) that appeared on slashdot in the past. I would refute the statements of the authors for their lack of general all around knowledge about linux. As people have pointed out in the past linux != Red Hat in any form.
  • I personally think the only way for RHAT to survive now that its taken a financial stance on linux rather then a open stance on it is to merge. So buy up be, and get real multimedia support in linux and have a journaling filesystem

    most of all, return some of that money back to the public.. the amount of shares kept internal for something like this is outrageous.. give some back.
  • What I said was said in an entirely mocking way, by the way... I just get upset when for the most part, people refuse to see faults in Linux, just for the sake that it's Linux and that's okay... In the same light, it would seem to me that many people will bash people, articles, and organizations for saying something about Linux without it necessarily being good. Like everything in life, Linux has it's good points and bad points.

    Besides all that, since when is Slashdot the voice of linux? Last time I looked it simply says "News for nerds. Stuff that matters." NOT "Linux news for nerds. Linux stuff that matters."
  • The article is a pile of Penquin dodo and the comment about "being raped and plundered" is just so much flatulance.
    THE gpl keeps it free. If some corp decides to attach a bunch of binary crap to a copy of Linux that doesn't mean everyone has to buy it, unlike the present M$ model.
    RH, along with several other Internet IPOs will slide back down to the penny stock range before a year passes. Besides T-shirts, distros and service they have no other commodity for which most folks would be willing to pay. SuSE beats them by miles in distro quality, I've heard their service is poor. That only leaves the T-shirts. Five Billion for T-shirts?
    I doubt it.
  • A job is something you do, but do not really care about and get paid for it

    A career is something you do and you really are interested in it and you get paid for it.

    A hobby is something you do and are really interested in it, but don't get paid for it.

    ...could go on...but I think the point is clear....use the proper word. Just because you capitalize a J in job does not make it any more important.
  • This article highlights something which I've always disliked about the GNU/Stallman way of thinking. It seems to claim that greed is a bad thing and a negative thing. That anywhere money goes, evil must follow.

    You misunderstand. RMS does *not* claim money is evil, or bad. He claims that hoarding is evil and bad-- especially hoarding something that is, in essence, knowledge.

    This is a common misconception, made worse by the ignorant press and neo-McCarthyists who mistake his ideas for Communism and are frightened by that. The GPL grants the specific right to make money off any software under the GPL, without any kind of compensation to the actual author. The only requirement is this: access to the source code must be guaranteed, and the person recieving the software also recieves the exact same rights-- including the right to redistribute the software.

    This ensures that the code will always be "free." Why is this important? Not to keep people from making money, but to ensure that the code survives; and so other people can learn, and fix, and enhance.

    Also, true communism is neither bad, nor good. It's an ideal, and quite impossible, just as a Free Market is an ideal, and quite impossible. Communism in Russia turned into Socialism, and Free Market in the US turned into Wall Street. Same difference.

    Other than that, I agree with you 100%.
  • Give Suck some credit. Just like that band you knew from your neighbourhood ignored you when they landed the million dollar record deal, Linux is also succeptable to the taste of green, despite what anyone says. As a community, we must do our best in keeping our heads out of the clouds ("oh, they finally love that OS I've loved for so long .. how dreamy is this?") and make sure we don't lose the handle on this thing. As a Linux user, INFORM your friends and neighbours! Tell them why Linux is such a great OS .. not just because it works, but because it's the communities! Tell them to support the grass-roots Linux community, not just the companies who shrink-wrap it.

    But yes, lets not be idealistic. Linux may end up being the Windows of the 00's. Who knows. Anyone who discounts any possibility admits being ill prepared for every possibility.
  • This is my first exposure to this site. The format is very annoying. I've never read a piece more dripping with sarcasm or more inaccurate. Is this journalism for the skateboard crowd?
  • Keep in mind that "Linux" (the kernel) is GPLed and will forever be GPLed. Also, much of the software distributed by RedHat is GPLed as well. And also, RedHat owns very little of what they sell (in the copyright sense), and much of THAT is GPLed as well. So, those proprietary extensions would have to be completely new, not based on anything GPLed, including previous GPL RedHat works. The codebase can't fork, the GPL (and other free licences) prevent that.
  • As those inside know, it's not about money. It's about respect.

    I read your first Salon piece, and frankly I don't buy this at all. You got the letter, so you must have contributed something valuable to Linux. In this gift society, didn't your gift already earn you respect?

    Why in the world would an open-source developer need the respect of E*TRADE? Online brokerages and the stock market are not about respect, quality or any other admirable goal. They're about money -- a completely amoral barometer of right and wrong.

    Your efforts to equate respect with money help to prove the point of Suck's commentary.

  • Actually, I can think of two:

    Phil Kerns (PKZip)
    John McAfee (Viruscan)
    Howard Roark, Architect
  • The biggest concern is not just money, but in general that the motivating
    factors like money or fame tend to sway development in a particular
    direction. Why is USB still not standard in Linux, why is scanner support
    virtually non-existant, why is sound support highly limited? All because
    those are the fundamentals that don't bring fame or fortune. It's the dirty work
    everyone hates. Let me also mention winmodems which are still not supported
    even though many models have been around for months if not years.
    Mozilla development is lagging behind because it was not sexy enough to attract
    a significant number of outside developers. I mean I just keep coming up with
    more examples of what current OSS or FS developers are "not motivated" to code.
    Suck stumbled upon a real problem even though it has little to do with Redhat IPO.
  • I did indeed think about your statements (well honestly as much as any person can think for 2+ hours about 300+ comments about a controversial subject. What is the most glaring problem with most of these theories is that if this even happens people will just use a version of linux that does not have all the little "improvements" that the "board of directors" wants in it. Since linux is not managed into one major company Linux Software Inc. things will eventually work out for the best in the end. The later commentary about the inefficency of corporate world with most things. Since I have not really been exposed to many of the upper level jobs where I would get to interface with the big boys is it really this bad? If this were the case why dosn't someone usurp their power.
  • With a CD Recorder a Gimp CDLabeling utility and a weekend each one of us could make enough from Linux CD's to buy out Microsoft. Get real OSS Free Software rules!
  • Actually, I have a minor correction...

    the MacOS allows for the use of single clicks. Just change it so everything is displayed as a button rather than icons. This is true for every version after 8.0(maybe earlier, but I couldn't say for sure). Granted, it's not the default that is set, but it can me made so that it is system wide and very quickly.

    okay...back to what we were talking about....
  • Seems to me that unless someone writes at least a couple dozen apps that are better than what is out there currently there is little chance of this at all. Nothing could stop say someone like me from taking all of the GPLed code and composing a new distribution and making improvements and getting some people to work on it. Suddently those in this world known rather affectionally as "the suits" will have less of a monopoly and no way to stop it.
  • What exactly makes Suse better in the long haul? I mean it must be good for those of the world with whom German is second nature but I would still prefer something with English (my only strong language) was the primadry target.
  • Are programmers really writing Linux and other open source software without gaining anything? As Eric S. Raymond said, (i think he said this anyway) most programs are written because of the programmers personal 'itch'. I know that whenever i code, I have a use for it, be at work, home, or whatever. I don't wake up in the morning and say "Gee golly, I think I want to write a 10,000 line program just so that a rich, fat CEO can make millions off of it while I sit at home and read /."

    I think that in the future, the majority of Linux developers will have jobs in the industry as a consultant, sysadmin, etc and write programs to work more effieciently. Or perhaps some of them will be high school/college students writing programs as projects or whatever. I dunno.

    Of course, then again, it's late and I'm tired.
  • by evilpenguin ( 18720 ) on Friday August 20, 1999 @10:56AM (#1735035)
    I have tried for over a year not to rant on /., but the discussion under this topic has finally sent me beyond the precipice. This is WAY OFF TOPIC (or is it?)

    Rant 1: Re: People who complain about /. moderation. Moderation doesn't censor anything. Just set your threshold to -1 folks and you can read every post. Slashdot is a group and as the cliche goes the IQ of a group is equal to the loswest IQ in the group divided by the number of people in the group. Moderators are slashdot readers. Try to get over the pain of being moderated down and try making your point again, but this time use careful language that doesn't fall to personal abuse. You'd be surprised how suggesting someone has a Philistine attitude gets moderated up while calling someone a shithead gets moderated down. Just try to write like you would actually speak to someone in person and maybe you'll be happier with the moderating (but maybe not).

    Rant 2: People who flame anything anti-Linux. I use Linux. I use Windows (although I do not want to). I use other Unices. I like Linux. I want Linux to win. I want people to like Linux just like I want people to like the TV shows I like and worship the God I worship. And that's what we need to beware of. I am often reminded of that scene from Life of Brian where the "Vow of Silence" man attacks Brian and the reaction of the crowd, esp. Cleese shouting, "Heretic! Unbeliever! Persecute! Kill!" For goodness sake, it's a computer program!

    Rant 3: People who talk about Slashdot readers and posters as if they were all of like mind. There is astounding diversity of opinion on Slashdot. Read the thread a couple of days ago on the Kansas/Evolution thing. Now there happen to be certain overlapping domains (like Linux-love) in the nerd/geek community, but there is some part of each of us unique and outside all the overlaps. That's what brings me back again and again. I can get perpetual self-congratulation by watching any E! program.

    Rant 4: People who think anything Microsoft does matters in the slightest. Linux is not and cannot be destroyed. It is not in even the slightest way threatened by anything Microsoft does. Linux businesses may be, but the network is here. The code is here. It cannot be taken away or destroyed. If every Linux business were forced to fold tomorrow the whole thing would just keep right on going. I do not care what Microsoft does.

    Rant 5: People who just don't get it. It seems to be an American disease, but it is spreading everywhere. The only thing that matters is money. People talk about the quality of movies on the basis of how much was spent to make them, or how much they are making. An amazing number of people think I am "exploited" because I have given away code I have written. They do not understand that I wrote that code for my personal needs or pleasure. These same people think that I am not exploited when I code things I don't want to code for other people to make them richer forty hours a week, 52-weeks a year (that's ~87 days a year folks, for 45 years that's 3,900 days, or about 10 years 6 months of my life), for which I get paid just enough to keep me in debt for most of that time, after which I become a liability to the healthcare system until I die. Exploitation comes in many forms. Writing source code and giving it away is not one of those forms as far as I am concerned. (BTW, consider that between work, school, and sleep you use about 16 of every 24 hours of your life for 60 years not doing what you want. That's 40 years of your life spent not doing what you want. Let's assume you live to 75 years and that you sleep 8 hours a day for those years you are not working or going to school. That's another 5 years of sleep. So, out of 75 years of living, you get to do what you want to for yourself for 30 years out of 75. Now talk to me about exploitation.)

    Rant 6: People who sneer at anything. Given the numbers above, why do so many of us feel that there is time to sneer at anything? Maybe we should try to form some genuine, sincere, honest, trusting, real relationships between actual caring living people in the time we have left?

    Boy, I feel a lot better having gotten that off my chest.
  • Linux is not even near being ready for mass market consumption. A lot of /. seem to think, o, Linux isn't that hard, or it's just as hard as Windows. Sure, installing was pretty easy, getting used to the different way file systems are named (C becomes /dev/hda1) might throw some people off, but it wasn't bad at all to install. But actually using it? No, Windows is much much easier. It's totally GUI, so they don't even have to type at a console, ever. One of my first daunting tasks was making a boot disk. Due to the way I installed it, I have to boot from a disk. In Windows it's easy, just search the help file for "boot disk" and boom, it gives you a link and instructions. So, I go to the KDE help, type in boot disk, and it gives me about 13 different pages, none of which seemed to be what I wanted. So I go into #linuxhelp, and someone says tyep mkbootdisk. So I figure out how to get to the console, and type it in. Then it asks for otehr stuff, like the device, and the folder. More hassle. And configuring stuff, like the mouse or resolution, much more of a hassle in Linux. The fact you have to log in and remember a password is going to confuse the dickens out of some people. Permissions are still giving me hell, half the stuff I can't do because I have to be logged in as superuser. Linux is not a desktop OS, I don't use it as a server, so I guess that's it's a great server, but as a replacement for Windows 98 or 2000? Ha, that won't happen. Maybe Windows 200x, but not in the near future. Windows is MUCH easier to use for the average computer user.
  • So what will replace linux? As I see it linux has been the only noticeable blip in the Open Source arena in the past 15+ years. Winblows has been quite anti-learning when it comes to people becoming endeared to it. Other versions of unix lack many applications and such that give people a warm cosy feeling. In actuality as has been pointed out in the past is that what really matters is applications and not the OS. If linux is gone the field will be pretty bleak indeed for open source in any form. My experience is that non-linux opensource isd difficult to use/configure/compile/run without the additions that varions dos ported versions of linux held utilities by the GNU project. What this could do is just raise the bar with how people learn about things. Basically it may mean that every 1-2 years programmers will have to retrain and relearn all the new features of the api that is in the new os. That will just suck and raise the level of startup costs of getting n IT related education.
  • So, if I get tired of Linux and download Debian GNU/Hurd instead, why would that be so very different? Ok, if Linux gets buggy from releasedate pressure and such maybe. Or are you talking about using something entirely non-commercial like Debian or GNU?
  • Not to be too picky you can pick the thing up for about $59.95 on most sites that sell linux cd-roms. Also Comp USA sells what appears to be Red Hat for about the same price also. Just shop around a little more.

  • Exactly... this comunity loves to tinker. If not, then Mindscape(?) for Legos would not have been so popular. People did not crack the code in the hopes of getting paid by Lego, they did so to in order to be creative, and perhaps, to make a useful tool that was above and beyond the scope of what already existed.
    I do not feel the open source community is in danger of falling completely to the evils of money (yes, obviously some will)... but as long as the code remains open, hackers are going to continue to tinker. Linux will continue to evolve.

  • Anyone who's ever had to install Windows will tell you that the Linux install process is generally easier.

    I beg to differ. I installed Windows for the first time without a hitch. It auto-detected my non-IDE CD-ROM (and installed drivers), set up my video card, set up my monitor, set up my network card and basically did everything else.

    Then I installed Linux for the first time. I had to make a special boot disk (sbpcd.i) to enable me to use my non-IDE CD-ROM, manually configure the ethernet card, and mess around in XF86Setup for about 45 minutes (plus two reboots) before getting my video card and monitor set up.

    Compared to win95/8, that just plain sucks.
  • Another couple problems was that most people will not pay for something that costs 5,000-10,000 $s and can only run on equally expensive hardware. That I think is the barrier for even the gifted.
  • Adolescent scatology...what can one say about such a negative piece?

  • GNU/FSF Foundataion.. i don't "buy" that for what its worth. Free software my ass. It would be great if we all got donations and cash awards. I would believe it, but go to, you see make donations and make contributions and this is what needs to be done. Whats so free about that?

    This may be the most clueless comment I've seen in a long, long time. Go back to, and this time, actually read it!

    Hint: You're confused about what the word "Free" in FSF stands for. Your comments are about money. Nothing on the website talks about software that doesn't cost money (except where they clarify that's not what they're talking about).

    To ask a counterquestion to your last question: what's not free about that? (Remember, you answer should make no reference to money -- checking if you're confused about what the word "free" means in this context.)


  • Dude, didn't you see the KDE pre2.0 screenshots yesterday? :) That looks pretty damned new-user oriented. The days of fvwm being the coolest X interface are gone.

    I think the article was perhaps purposely foolish, anyway. Anyone who can code has always had liberal opportunities for "selling out" if that's what they're after.

    Also, even though Red Hat isn't my distro of choice, I think it's apparent that they *do* pay people for coding without "selling out" ... I think Alan Cox is a pretty good example here. :)
  • Hey, if Linux stays free and of good quality, I don't care *WHO* makes it rich.

    I just want a quality OS/Kernel that I don't have to shell out my life savings to buy. Office apps are nice too, but I can do without.

    If shareholders complain because Red Hat doesn't turn a profit, it won't affect me a bit. In fact, Red Hat, VA Research, ... could fail and I could care less as long as I get my Linux!

    - Steve
    Steven Webb
    System Administrator II - Juneau and TECOM projects
    NCAR - Research Applications Program
  • >Do you think you will remain "not in it for the
    >money" when there starts to be serious money
    >thrown towards linux?

    Perhaps not, I'd like to think so, but like I said, only time can tell for sure.

    >If various Linux distrubutions start weeding out
    >the less-used, less-funded ones they become just
    >like Micro$haft we've all grown to hate
    Perhaps the other commerical ones, but I don't see how for instance Red Hat could ever "weed out" someone like Debian. What can Red Hat do to make Debian go away?

    >Let's not forget FoxPro 2.0 which was well
    >destroyed by the awful product Access.
    Again, this is assuming two commerical products which need money to survive. Even if the only people using Debian are the people who build it, if they want to keep building it they can. There is no budget or sales to worry about.

    I believe what scares MS the most about Linux is they don't know how to attack it. A lot of people like developing it, like using it. Even if it has very little market share, even if it has lots of bugs, etc. All of these things were true in the past, and people still continued to use it.

    They can't make their product cheap or free in order to put the other product out of business (a favorite strategy) because the other product _does not depend on money to be developed_. Sure lots of people are being paid now to do Linux development, and I think that is great, but I bet many of these people would continue to do so even if they had to go back to other jobs.

    Thanks to the various FS/OSS licenses you can't buy it out, sure you can buy off the primary developers and the latest code, but people can always just go right on developing for the last public branch.

    This, I think, is the real power and threat of Linux. Sure you can scare most of the world away with FUD, but those who know better are just going to keep at it, and it will eventually poke its head back up again. Short of wiping out every Linux developer and eraseing every trace of its existance, I don't see how they can ever make it totally go away, nor do I see how any commericalization of it can ever truely destroy the community. Damage it sure, shrink it definetly, but make it go away, I doubt it. And so long as that community exists I'll be happy.

    >You may not want to be a millionare, but
    >understand some developers would like to be one

    well actually I do, thats just not my primary motivation. :) but even if it is the primary motivation for some (even most), so long as there are some for whom it is not, the community will survive.

    Wow that was a lot longer and rambling than I intended.

  • Who do you think BUYS a linux install anyway, some one who knows how to do a net install over thier dsl??? Nope, its the same folks who BUY software and expect it to work out of the box( yes it has a box) with MINIMAL hassle.
    Zzzz. This is stupid and you know it. I never expect software to work out of the box . . .
    I bought a distro because I don't have a dsl, or anything else like that, and the phone lines around my area limit me to ~28.8 on the good ol' modem. I bought a distro because I don't want to have to futz with waiting for the same bad phone lines at work . . .
    Matter of fact, until recently, the only ISP in my little town was one called AOL. Hehe. "Times, they are a changin'."
    Get off this "commercial distro's are crap" ethic, you're annoying me and others around you. What you say makes sense only until you look at it for more time than it takes to go "RedHat suckz, d00dz." or "GUI is for MORONS(or whatever)!"
    I probably looked to much into what you wrote, so don't take it too seriously.
    Thanks for your time.
  • Rape usually happens in the real world because a sexually desperate illadjusted person cannot get what he/she wants and decides to take it does this imply that you/anyone else perhaps envys the success of linux?
  • That CEO most likely started out as a little nothing too probably 20-45 years ago somewhere and had to learn the ropes and get things done with an equally "clueless" person at the top. It's just different areas of expertise. Einstein knew how the universe worked but more than likely couldn't fix his own car.
  • Re Rant 1: Right on. Moderation is a way to single out good comments for commendation and conversely, to single out bad comments for reprimand. It isn't censorship.

    Re Rant 2: Right on. I use windows, linux, and even mac and while I like linux best, each has its own strong point. Windows is (right now) the best 3d gaming platform and Netscape's more stable on MS, linux is the most stable (of the three at lest; I've no experience with any *BSD) server platform and mac (I just bought my first mac, a classic II for $25) has shufflepuck cafe and the best version of tetris I've played.

    Re Rant 3: Right on. While many geeks/nerds/academia/whatever may be quite left-wing, agnostic/aethist, white males (don't flame me for saying it, and yes, I am) there are far to many who aren't to make that assumption. You can't even assume that /. readers are linux users (I have two friends who read solely for the mac/beos news).

    Re Rant 4: On, but not Right On. Microsoft doesn't matter to the future of linux but it does matter to the future of America and the rest of the world. They are getting powerful enough to influence foreign policy which is literally a life and death area.

    Re Rant 5: On, but not Right On. I enjoy my job, I enjoy sleep (I'm a cross-country runner: try taking a nap after a 12 mile run through the mountains; it's damn fun) and I enjoy school (I'm a college freshman). I feel sorry for those people who don't like what they do, but I feel that I'm doing what I want to be doing for more hours a day than not.

    Re Rant 6: Right on. I couldn't add to the eloquence of Rant 6.

  • This reminds me of a supreme court case decision (can't exactly remember which but dealing with the 1st ammendment) which states that we should tolerate free speech for all even the speech we hate. More than likely no one will ever topple the empires of microsoft or other companies and completely discredit linux and OSS. What could happen to hurt it a little is something like this--- Bill Gates or some powerful person hires a group of terrorists from a country with an unstable government and radical ideology and instructs them on comming to a major event like Linux World or something where 90% of the developers are located. Using Anthrax or some other method or biological or chemical warfare they assasinate (in a devious manner) most of the participants. The resulting people who are left after this will either be forced into hiding or have lesser skill and will not be able to produce code as well as the core group and hence will make linux fail due to a lack of technical superority. A couple of months/half a year later M$ releases some major revision to their OS and offers a bunch of technically inclined add ons for free or nearly so. Now this is not to say in the slightest that this has even a 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000 chance of happening but according to quantum physics it can.
  • Right on target. RedHat != Linux.

    RedHat is a Linux distributor. Linux is likened to water. There are many distributors that will sell you water. Some have better quality, sell it in different bottles, add a little extra and spend more on advertising. All water does not taste the same, but close enough for some people not to notice. There are many people who will only drink bottled watter, there are some who drink anything, and some who prefer it straight from the tap - or lake.

    They can always kill the bottled water manufacturer - they can't stop the water.
  • nice sig but i thouight the quote was "64K ought to be enough for anybody" not 16...
  • Some corrections,

    1. The GNU OS is a high quality operating system created by a group of talented people. Unfortunately, it is not yet complete.
    2. Linux is a high quality kernel created by a group of talented people, thus completing the GNU OS.
    3. Both the GNU OS and the Linux kernel are available for free.
    4. Because of 1-3, most people consider GNU/Linux systems a Good Thing.
    5. Red Hat sells a "value-added" product that includes the GNU/Linux OS.
    6. Red Hat is successful.
    7. Red Hat issues an IPO, offering shares to some of the people involved in 2 (above). Some of those people accept the offer. (Did they offer any to those involved in 1 (above)?)
  • From the FAQ:

    3.1) Are there any OSs that don't suck?


    3.2) How about any hardware?

    The PDP-10 was pretty nice. Pity they aren't common any more.
    [Ok. Still haven't got the exact year they stopped being made, but there IS a company that makes clones; Check out html [] for an emulator.]

  • The logic of the article seem to something like "it is no reason for a coder to do linux/OSS because the chances that he will be one of the few that makes big money on it is very slim".


    Let turn our attention to an other alternative. The coder do some really great/cool/inovative ;) proprietary sw on a proprietary operating system (say Winblows). Then the coder future is all golden right? Lets just take some examples.

    What about Netscape? some years ago they make this (for the time) incredible product, and what happens? some control freak at M$ goes scared and M$ release a free product to cut Netscape's "air supply". Result Netscape bearly survive with the help of AOL.


    Okay, Okay an other example: Citrix and their MetaFrame, a great idea or what (*nix has had better for years but anyway)! M$ take a look at the Citrix SW and announce that they are already working on, and are going to release a similar product. What happens is that the Citrix stock plunge and lo and behold M$ buy Citrix! And guess what! now they really do have the product. (Maybe the Citrix coders made some money on this anyway? a little.....)


    So I guess the choice is really up to you, take your chances were you know you will get screwed or where you at least have a chance not to. (As the OS is not controlled by a control-freak, or anyone else for that matter).

    Take a bit of Generation-X negative mindset, sprinkle it with a bit of FUD and journalist ignorance and what do you have? A crapy linux article.

  • I have no problem with people informally calling their operating system "Linux." I certainly don't expect people to say "GNU/Linux" each time. However, I do object to blatantly wrong statements such as "I run the Linux Operating System." There is no such thing. Saying "I run Linux," would, however, be correct.

    In addition, implying that the Linux kernel is the entire OS, and that those who created the kernel created the OS, is disrespectful to the many people who spent the previous 10+ years writing the operating system that the Linux kernel plugged into.
  • Well, Tony, you make a good point. Here's my only counter argument: In the GNU Manifesto, RMS makes quite a lot of noise about software patents and any sort of legal ownership of 'knowledge'. Which is to say, of course, code. I disagree with that thought. Like it or not, we wouldn't be where we are if Microsoft hadn't produced an easy to use (relatively) set of software. We wouldn't be where we are if the world had been GPL from the beginning. Computers would have been tools of research only, instead of the game/office/productivity/information platform it is now. There, I've said it. Microsoft *caused* the beginnings of our revoloution when it came into existance. Without microsoft, None of this would exist, and there would be no community to write linux because computers would still be mammoth things which are used only for number crunching.

    Secondly, I *totally* disagree that a true free market is an impossible ideal. I also *totally* disagree with the idea that communism is in any way -ideal-. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Communism and Socialism are evil, and Marx was a raving lunatic.

    But, that goes outside the scope of this post. If you care to argue the finer points of political and economic theroy, drop me a line. Until then, visit [].
  • Tell us, and we'll all write "Dan Maurer" in during the next Presidential election! :)

    But seriously, if such a thing appeared, it would simply get reverse engineered...


  • Let's not be too eager to embrace this article in the interest of appearing self-depricating, open to constructive criticism, and so forth. I see no reason for Linux to depricate itself in any way, and I saw little in the article's criticism that was constructive, or even accurate as it applies to Linux or the Free Software movement in general.

    A few short years ago the notion of free software was decried as an absurd fad at most, because "human nature" would always mean greed would win out and therefor no one would code free software in the long run.

    They were wrong then, as Linux, FreeBSD, GNU, and countless other freeware projects have demonstrated, and they are wrong now.

    "Clueless users will never be willing to switch to Linux until they have xxx", where xxx is some absurd feature (e.g. the paperclip). Wrong. I have a number of "clueless" friends who know next to nothing about computers and have embraced Linux when I've offered it to them, even though it has meant giving up some applications which simply haven't been ported (Quicken for example), and learning how to do other things differently. Without exception they are all so delighted at having a system that lets them work and accomplish things without constant problems and unexpected crashes to contend with, that they have become even more zealous advocates of Linux than I or any of my "geek" friends have ever been. Are there more apps and capabilities I'd like on the desktop? You bet! Is their lack proving to be a major obstacle for technically challenged users to adopt Linux. Not at all in my experience.

    Finally, the argument that money will force the splintering of Linux has already been refuted time and time again, both here and elsewhere. Splintering Linux wouldn't make Red Hat, Caldera, Suse, or anyone else more profitable, it would simply shrink the entire Linux pie in favor of Windows, making everyone poorer. Red Hat et. al. know this -- they've seen the long, splintered history of UNIX and they understand the Open Source paradigm far better than the folks who wrote this article appear to. In addition, they appear to ignore the built in safeguards inherent in the GPL which help to prevent just this sort of thing.

    Oh, by the way, has anyone actually ever seen a coherent definition of "human nature" that wasn't a tautology? Just curious.
  • All those trendy magazines and news channels that keep saying linux is the next big thing, they're wrong. They're not thinking in terms of geeks and end-users. All the geeks that want linux already have it, it's very popular among the hackers, wannabee hackers, nerds, and techies. But that is the farthest its goin to go without a 1BRI (1 Brain Cell Required Interface).
    Its near its peek since all us geeks already have linux and all the companies that want to switch are about to do it. But thats it. Linux is not an end user product. Like it or not, MS is easy to use, and the users don't really mind rebooting every five minutes. They want to be able to turn on their computer, fire up MS Office, type up some fancy documents and reboot a couple of times. No more, no less. And thats what theyre getting, so they're happy. They don't want linux or the flexibility and stability it has to offer. And damn it, that's how its gonna stay wether we like it or not.

  • Are they going to ban this discussion in Kansas?

  • ...because I'm going to defy the great penguin.

    That article was not only honest, but it was accurate, given the amount of complaints that the RH IPO fiasco generated from the *altruistic* linux developers on this site.

    In the last month /. has witnessed more posts from people who believe that it is their Deity-given right to be financially compensated for writing free software--something that these same developers were patting themselves on the back for doing without compensation just a month before. I didn't think it would happen, but the aura surrounding Linux has notably shifted from one of community to one of serious competition, and while not all of this is due to $$ (witness the KDE/GNOME wars), it certainly hasn't helped. The RedHat IPO, as far as I can tell, has made the situation worse. Perhaps it won't affect the quality and reputation of the kernel, but the kind of corporate squabbling coming down the pipe can't help Linux's overall public image.
  • Let's see:

    1. Linux is a high quality operating system created by a group of talented people.

    2. Linux is available for free.

    3. Because of 1 and 2, most people consider Linux a Good Thing.

    4. Red Hat sells a "value-added" product that includes Linux.

    5. Red Hat is successful.

    6. Red Hat issues an IPO, offering shares to some of the people involved in 1 (above). Some of those people accept the offer.

    7. The aptly-named considers this a Bad Thing.

    From this I deduce that you can only remain Good so long as you are NOT an economic success.

    Let's all work hard to ensure that remains a Good site. I'd hate for them to suffer the ignominious fate of Linux.
  • With that little Devil icon, it shows you that BSD was made by the devil himself. Since they want religion in the schools, they consider this a good thing, believe it or not. Of course, nobody can BUY this tool of satan, but they can mention it in schools.
  • The little cartoons are pretty amusing, but I think that they miss the point (calling KDE and Gnome development pointless double effort is very clueless).

    The people that are coding now have been doing it for months without any monetary reward, several have been doing it for years now. They do it because they like it. Suddenly they are paid for it. Perhaps some of the coders will fall victim to the evils of money, perhaps some new people will join up hoping to get rich. The folks who have been doing this out of love aren't going to care, they still love to fiddle with the code, in fact this may help them, maybe they will be able to quit there day job and fiddle full time now.

    Personally I wonder how market forces are going to be able to influence Linux development. Most coders out there don't have a marketing team telling them "what the people want". Sure perhaps Redhat or Caldera or "insert favoprite Linux company here" sponsored development efforts will be market driven, but there is nothing barring any Joe Blow from going the opposite direction.

    We shall see, I personally have more faith in my fellow man than Suck apparently does.

  • First let me say that I've never read Suck before. Several people have said that they exist to be negative. I can believe that from the tone of the article. Doesn't change the fact that they're dead on the money.

    It also doesn't mean that's the whole story. The one thing I've heard over and over since I started using Linux (about three years now) is that it's a fundamentally different beast. This was true then, it's true now. What that means in the current context is that while all that Suck said is true (and it is; don't delude yourself), Linux is in the unique situation of being able to maintain infinite alternate realities.

    As an example - I go to LinuxWorld. I talk to many people. We discuss who uses what. Most people seem to run RedHat or Debian (I was in the Debian booth, so that may be skewed). On this, most run WindowMaker or E with KDE or GNOME (in order of popularity). These are the hot new things, many being driven by some of these new forces at play. Myself? I run a version of AfterStep 1.0 that I've done some hacking on (and I'm not even a programmer; I'm a hardware guy). Do these guys have functionality I don't? Not really. Themeing, but I don't consider that important, and I can get most of that functionality other ways. Some stuff like drag n' drop in KDE or GNOME, but I don't use that.

    And there my friends, is the big difference. All these new things are available, becoming part of the system, and I don't have to use them. It's all optional. As long as the source remains available, there will be versions of Linux out there driven purely by the motives it has always been driven by. It's every bit as sure as the fact that versions and products will appear that are driven purely by greed. They're both human nature.

  • Companies such as RedHat, Microsoft, Apple, etc..., they are concerened with the end users. The coders of the open source community are concerned with their own pet project and getting it to work.

    I get the feeling that the /. community likes to dump on RedHat because they were sucessful, but more importantly I think it's because they were sucessful first. Isn't the whole point of open source the ability to take it the furthest you can take it? RedHat has done that, and they have done it well. But the Linux community has something the Windows community will never have, Caldera, Debian, Slackware (personal favorite), etc.... We've got options and choices. Granted we've got no dancing paperclips but if we were so inclined a group of us could program a dancing Penguin hooked up to all the man page entries...wait that's a pretty good idea...sorry mental drift, where was I?

    Oh yeah, I say quit you whining about RedHat's sucess, most of it seems to be out of frustration over them getting thier first. They are buisnessmen and that's what buisness majors do. They creat companies to create IPO's. The rest of us are computer science, philosophy (me), humanities, etc... and 10, 15, 20 years ago when you sat down to the computer and wrote your first PONG clone, was it images of an IPO that ran through your head? No, it was call the guys, call mom and dad, it was the bragging rights to the people who matter most. And that's what sepparates us from the buisnessmen.

    RedHat's here, Microsoft is here, Apple's here and none of them are going any where soon. Get used to it. But instead of whining and complaining about somebody else's sucess work on your own. Keep it free, make sure that even with their sucess RedHat doesn't call the shots, we do.

    Nuf said.
    "War doesn't determine who's right, just who's left"

  • Your little gripe reads like something Bill Gates wrote many years ago to a bunch of cretins who actually had the nerve to give away software.

    Red Hat give away the code, they don't sell it because they don't own it, or have you forgotten that? If you don't want others to profit from your work, then don't release it under an Open Source license--be like Bill.

    OSS just got raped? Care the explain how? Is it rape when I use OSS at work? After all, I'm being paid for the work I produce with OSS. Is it rape when a consultancy make money installing and maintaining OSS-based networks for their customers? Is it rape when Red Hat invest millions of dollars into Linux, GNU, and other OSS?

"I think trash is the most important manifestation of culture we have in my lifetime." - Johnny Legend